Having managed West Ham to a total of just under 200 games it is no surprise that his return to East London in the opposition dugout is creating the theme for many previews for this derby as we come against a club that Sam Allardyce has fond memories of.
“The past is something I don’t reflect on very often because the future is the most important thing but I had four very enjoyable years at West Ham and one of the reasons I am back here is not just for the football club but also because it brings me back to London which I really enjoyed during my time at that club. It means I have lifestyle satisfaction with where I am living and also the club I am looking after now in the Premier League.
“I am looking forward to the game and seeing the new stadium so it will be interesting to have a look behind the scenes there but most importantly it is the result I am looking for."
Sam managed Sunderland against West Ham last season in a 1-0 defeat and experienced a good reception from his former Upton Park home fans and doesn’t expect much different this time round.
“I went back with Sunderland last season and it wasn’t a problem for me or the fans but I expect the reception wont be too clever if we start winning but certainly when I was there last season the reception I got was fine.”
Much has been made this season about Slaven Bilic’s side getting used to their new surroundings at The London Stadium, after a disappointing start to their season at home, but Allardyce is not surprised that it took the Hammers a while to become familiar with the venue.
“Its par for the course for any club that goes into a new stadium and getting used to the different surroundings for players and all involved is a difficult one. Every team that has moved to a new stadium always seems to struggle, I remember Phil Brown telling me Bolton had a similar issue when they moved to the Reebok. I am sure thought that with the squad and management West Ham have got that they will overcome that but hopefully not on Saturday.”
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